Medium pacer Jagjit Singh’s three-wicket haul (3/28), followed by Ankit Kaushik’s unbeaten half-century (57 n.o., 45b, 5x4, 3x6) helped Chandigarh beat Bengal by eight wickets in the final league match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (Group E) at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday.
It was Bengal’s first defeat in the tournament this year but the team still finished on top of the group, tied on 18 points with Chhattisgarh thanks to a better net run rate and booked a place in the quarterfinals.
Asked to bat first, Bengal’s innings never got going as it kept losing wickets in regular intervals to be reduced to 82 for six in the 15th over.
Only skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran held fort at one end finishing as the top-scorer with 46 (42b, 1x4, 1x6).
Later Karan Lal’s quick 27 off 12 balls helped Bengal post a respectable total of 135 for eight.
Chandigarh started well getting 49 in the PowerPlay before Kaushik and Bhagmender Lather (32 n.o.) came together and saw off the chase. The duo stitched an unbroken 89-run stand for the third wicket and got Chandigarh home comfortably with 17 balls to spare.
Earlier in the day, in a must-win game, Chhattisgarh thrashed Odisha by 87 runs to finish second in the group and in the process knocked out defending champions Tamil Nadu.
Electing to bat, Chhattisgarh made 167 for seven riding on Amandeep Khare’s 57. He was supported by skipper Harpreet Singh who made 47 as they put together a 92-run partnership for the second wicket.
In reply, Odisha was bowled out for just 80 with left-arm spinner Sumit Ruikar taking three wickets (3/22) while pacer Ravi Kumar chipped in with two wickets (2/2).
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